Hitchin hypnotherapy expert Ian Murton on the bank of willpower when setting New Year resolutions

By The Editor

26th Dec 2022 | Local News

Hitchin hypnotherapy Ian Murton: The bank of willpower. CREDIT: Unsplash
Hitchin hypnotherapy Ian Murton: The bank of willpower. CREDIT: Unsplash

The latest in our occasional Nub News series from Ian Murton, a highly-qualified Hitchin hypnotherapist who specialises in helping people to overcome anxiety and insomnia, so they can look forward to enjoying life with confidence.

So, with New Years resolutions on the horizon, read on for Ian's expert take on the topic: The bank of willpower 

It's around this time of year that many of us start to think about setting New Year resolutions. Normally by mid-February we wished that we never bothered, as we've stared failure in the face yet again, writes Ian Murton.

After gaining my degree I spent eight years working in health clubs. You could guarantee that every January there'd be a massive influx of people eager to get fit and lose weight, determined that this year was going to be different. By mid-February it was rare to see one of those new faces again. 

So what happened? 

In reality there may have been a number of reasons, but for many they would have simply run out of willpower.

Willpower is the ability for us to deny ourselves short-term temptation in order to reach a long term goal. After we start an activity we regularly assess the pain/ pleasure threshold to see if it's worth continuing the activity.

If the long term pleasure we hope to receive is not sufficient to overcome our short term pain, then we will stop the activity. 

Our ability not to give into temptation is personal to us, though what tends to be generic is that people overestimate their willpower. We also tend to focus on the benefits we ultimately want to receive and gloss over the pain of getting there. 

It is thought that we have a bank of willpower and once this is used up then we no longer find ourselves able to deny ourselves gratification. How fast we deplete our will power stores is based on a number of factors. 

Our stress levels play an important role. The more stress we have in our lives then the more we deplete our willpower. 

The amount of sleep we get is also critical. There is certainly no need to try and get in the mythical 8 hours of sleep a night but you do need to get the sleep that your body needs to function at its best. 

So you can greatly improve your chances of success by lowering your stress levels and sleeping well. 

Perhaps just as important is to lengthen the time you expect to complete your resolution and lower your expectations. 

If you ask any extremely successful person how they got where they are today, I'd be certain that they would share a similar view - Be consistent, do a little thing every day because eventually your efforts will be rewarded. 

So perhaps this year instead of drastically changing your diet and hitting the gym, eat one less biscuit every day and go for a walk a couple of times a week. Maybe this time next year you'll be slimmer and fitter as your brain decided that the short term pain was manageable. 

RELATED ARTICLES

North Herts hypnotherapy expert Ian Murton on the Anxiety Paradox

Hitchin hypnotherapy expert Ian Murton shares tips on how to treat insomnia

By Ian Murton HPD, DSFH, AfSFH Reg, NCH Reg, CNHC Reg

To find out more visit Ian's website here

     

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